Thursday, June 20, 2024

Liberia: SOS Call – 25 Made Homeless, As Uncontrollable Fire Guts Homes in Fendall Community Destroying All Their Belongings

Monrovia — Over 25 persons, mostly women and children, are currently homeless as a result of a fire incident that gutted two apartments in Lower Careysburg, Montserrado County, destroying all valuables.

The victims are four separate families, three of whom are occupying one of the apartments along with the landlord, and another family occupying the other. One of the apartments is being occupied by Reporters Association of Liberia President, Willie Tokpah.

The incident occurred on Saturday, May 13, when most of the families were away on their normal business. There was no casualty or loss of life during the incident, but victims were unable to recover some of their money and valuables, including twelve-grader uniforms, school materials, and baby clothes, all of which got burned.

During the incident, which left the victims and some onlookers in disbelief, the Chairperson of the Yeliyeh Community in Lower Careysburg, Numenee D. Chea, said the incident was the first of its kind since her leadership, noting that it was a total setback for the families.

She is worried about how the victims will restart their lives in a time where things seem very difficult, after losing all of their belongings. Currently, she said the victims are now sleeping at some neighbors’ homes, which she believes may seem very uncomfortable for them.

Mrs. Chea said the victims’ urgent needs are shelter, food, and clothes. “There are some families with babies and the baby food and clothes left in the fire. The children are now left without clothes and they are passing the nights with neighbors in their sitting places, therefore there is an urgent need for the government and others to come to help these families,” Mrs. Chea lamented.

According to her, the community decided to rally to help the families provide food for the first and second day, but the money is not enough, and they might not be able to continue the collection due to financial difficulties. Therefore, she wants the government and other humanitarian organizations as well as goodwill individuals to come in to help the families restart their lives.

Evon Mulbah, Landlord of the Apartment, is currently a widow with six children, who is also in one of the apartments along with other tenants. She said since the death of her husband, things had been difficult, which resulted in her renting rooms to help with school and feeding her children.

According to Madam Mulbal, the petty trading she does is not profitable enough to cater to the family and the situation had created a total setback for her. “I just took money from my tenants to start doing a business that will help me, which amounts to US$3,500, and that money was in here because I was just about to go get good on next Tuesday, but when I came back, I met this situation,” Madam Mulbah noted.

She is troubled over the situation the fire incident has caused her. Madam Mulbah said since an SOS call was made following the incident, she has been unable to gain hope of reconstructing her home or doing a quick impact project.

Praising God for saving the lives of families, she also lauded Montserrado County District Three Representative Hopeful Patrick Komoyan for closing his border to District One to identify with the families, where he presented LD$10,000. She, however, commended Montserrado County District One Lawmaker Lawrence Morris for sending LD$10,000 along with two bags of rice, as well as a Representative Aspirant of District One and some clothes, Morris Barbary, for also presenting a LD$4,000 Cash and two bags of rice to victims.

Though she noted that identifying with them through the provision of food is important, her major concern now is shelter. “I don’t even know where to start, because we don’t have a cent to begin a project and to get my baby food will be challenging, because the few dollars we have will have to be providing food for the various family here,” Madam Mulbah noted. “All of us who are affected now live like displayed and in fact, my elder daughter is in 12-grade and her uniform got burned as well.